Athens, Greece

April 4, 2017 Paul Groves

Day 89 of 111. The Acropolis, Athens, Greece

The Propylaia is the monumental entrance to the sanctuary of the Acropolis. It was built between 437-432 BC. It also faces several significant Greek sites. Salamis Bay, in the distance, is where the Greeks defeated the Persians in a great naval battle. More importantly it faces the Pnyx (hill in the lower left-hand picture with a large flat platform) where the world’s earliest known democratic legislature was held.

The rock (lower right-hand picture) is call the Areopagus (Ares Rock) which functioned as the location for a court trying deliberate homicide. More importantly it is the site where the Apostle Paul made his great “Altar To An Unknown God” speech (Acts 17:24). You can see an engraved plaque at the base of the rock containing the sermon.

I was confused about the relationship between the Acropolis and the Parthenon. The Acropolis is the highest part of the city and on the Acropolis there are various monuments. The most striking is the Parthenon, an ancient temple to Athena.

Extensive restoration efforts are ongoing. You can see the cranes and scaffolding in the pictures and workers were busy inside the Parthenon even as we walked around the outside of the monument. Portions of the pillars and cross beams are being replaced with new white marble. The original temple would have been the same white color. The marble contains the mineral, iron. Iron compounds that form over time give the ancient building its distinctive reddish tint. At the top of the the front and rear entrances to the Parthenon, huge friezes depicting the Gods and Greek Warriors adorned the structure. The horse heads and human body are just a sample of what they might have looked like. The real friezes are located in the British Museum in England.

Another structure on the Acropolis is the Ionic Temple which features the Porch of the Maidens (Caryatide). It you look closely you’ll notice that the Maidens to the left have their left leg bent while the Maidens to the right have their right leg bent thus preserving the symmetry of the porch.